473 – Little Lost Cove Falls

Accessibility – Moderate+

Height – 60′

Distance – 1.5 (out and back)

Beauty – 5

Photo rating – 6

Solitude – 7

GPS Info: LAT 36.02197 LONG -81.82941

First visit: 03-23-2019

Most Recent Visit: 02-22-2020

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Little Lost Cove is one of two waterfalls on this short hike and is located a very short distance downstream from Upper Little Lost Cove Falls. The two are treated as one hike due to their closeness. If you want to check out some pictures of Upper Little Lost Cove Falls, which I think is the nicer of the two, you can find them on the Upper Little Lost Cove Falls page.

Trailhead Directions: There are a lot of ways to reach the trailhead, probably the easiest is to enter it into Google Maps. If not, from the intersection of NC183 and NC181, follow NC181 North for 0.8 of a mile and make a right onto Pittmans Gap Road. The name of the road will change several times before it reaches Mortimer Road in about a mile. Make a left (more stay straight). Follow Mortimer Road for 0.4 of a mile to a stop sign and make a right to stay on Mortimer Rd. Long Ridge Missionary Baptist Church is at the intersection. Mortimer road will split after about half  mile. Stay to the right onto Old Mortimer Rd.

At 2.1 miles from the stop sign you will pass FR58, which is the way to North Harper Creek Falls and South Harper Creek Falls. After 4 miles from the stop, FR464A cuts back sharply to the left. If the gate is open, which it is NOT in the winter usually, you can drive about a mile down the road to a large clearing at the base of a steep road. There is also a creek ford along the road so if the water is up, use caution. At the top of the steep hill leading to the parking area a road turns left. This is the start of the trail.

The hike: From the parking area, walk up the steep hill to the intersection with the road that is now on your right and follow it. There are a couple of mounds to cross and on my visit there were some trees across the road but otherwise it was easy to follow. The road will parallel Little Lost Cove Creek for 0.6 of a mile where it makes a left around a ridge. This is the point where you will leave the road. This point is around 36.02197, -81.83184. Follow the center of the ridge. It is steep in places and there were ropes on my visit but I didn’t use them. The base of Upper Little Lost Cove Falls is around 350 feet from where you leave the road.

From the base of Upper Little Lost Cove Falls, follow the creek downstream on river left (the creek is on your right). As you get closer to Little Lost Cove Falls you will swing away from the creek slightly in order to reach the base. This falls is higher than the upper but it doesn’t have the same appeal. You can make your way back up the creek to the base of the falls without too much effort.

To get out reverse the same route but when you get near the upper falls you can angle more to your right to avoid some of the steeper terrain close to the falls. These two waterfalls make for a nice, slightly more advanced hike than the Harper’s since part of it is not an a defined trail. The average person might not care for it, especially the part with the ropes but someone seeking a little more adventure than a trail walk will find this one worth the effort.



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